The Volkswagen SA team celebrates being chosen brand of the year for 2020, flanked by members of the CarsAwards and title sponsor Wesbank managements. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Volkswagen SA team celebrates being chosen brand of the year for 2020, flanked by members of the CarsAwards and title sponsor Wesbank managements. Picture: SUPPLIED

Volkswagen scooped the lion’s share at the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards — powered by WesBank — which celebrated its five-year landmark this year. The 13 category winners and the recipient of the Brand of the Year title were announced at a gala event held at the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit on February 6.

Conceived to be SA’s definitive automotive awards programme, cars are judged directly against their peers in specific categories, each of which has distinct requirements. Half of the final scores are based on brand-specific aftersales data through an ownership satisfaction survey completed in partnership with data specialists Lightstone Consumer.

Together with the extended cars.co.za editorial team, a number of local motoring journalists and influencers accumulated the other 50% of the final scoring through road testing of the vehicles at Gerotek, SA’s premier vehicle testing facility. The judging process is supervised and the final results audited by PwC.

A total of 17 brands were represented in the list of the 2020 awards finalists. Volkswagen led the nominations with seven derivatives, followed by BMW, Ford and Toyota (four apiece), Mazda and Suzuki (three apiece). Chinese SUV brand Haval made its first appearance in the final stage of the #CarsAwards, while Jaguar and Land Rover returned to the list after failing to make the last round in 2018/2019.

Volkswagen walked away with the Brand of the Year gong and won six of the 13 #CarsAwards categories. “We think the Brand of the Year trophy is the ultimate accolade in the local automotive industry,” says Hannes Oosthuizen, Cars.co.za consumer experience manager. “It represents validation from the people who matter most — actual car owners.”

The results of the judging process, which began in November 2019, were presented at a lavish gala dinner attended by 350 guests, including industry leaders, representatives of the finance sector, media agencies and celebrities.

Category winners: 2019/2020 #CarsAwards

Adventure SUV: Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto

Budget Car: Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX

Business Class: Volkswagen Arteon 2.0TSI 4 Motion R-Line

Compact Family Car: Volkswagen T-Cross 1.0 TSI Highline R-Line

Compact Hatch: Volkswagen Polo 1.0TSI Comfortline Auto

Crossover: Audi Q3 35 TFSI S Line

Executive SUV: BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport

Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic Auto

Fun Hatch: Volkswagen Polo GTI

Leisure Double-Cab: Volkswagen Amarok 3.0 V6 TDI Highline 4 Motion

Performance Car: Toyota GR Supra 3.0T

Premium Hatch: Volkswagen Golf GTI

Premium SUV: BMW X5 xDrive30d M-Sport

Brand of the year: Volkswagen